Shillong: The Congress has retained power in Meghalaya after emerging as the single largest party, bagging 29 seats, 2 short of an absolute majority, in the Assembly election results that were declared today. In 2008, the Congress had bagged 25 seats.
The results are a shot in the arm for Chief Minister Mukul Sangma who faced stiff opposition from PA Sangma who had quit Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the National People's Party (NPP) last year.
The NPP managed to bag only two seats in the Garo Hills region, once considered a stronghold of the former Lok Sabha Speaker. Chief Minister Sangma won from the Ampati seat for the fifth time in a row, defeating his NPP rival Clement G Momin by over 9,000 votes.
The NCP won two seats with the incumbent Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai retaining his urban South Shillong constituency. The United Democratic Party (UDP), which was the key ally of the Congress for the past three years in the Meghalaya United Alliance coalition government, could retain eight out of the 11 seats it won in 2008.
Hill State Peoples' Democratic Party president Hopingstone Lyngdoh won an eighth consecutive term to the Assembly from Nongstoin constituency in West Khasi Hills district. His party colleague Ardent Basaiawmoit retained his Nongkrem seat in East Khasi Hills district and the party's position.
Thirteen Independent candidates have also won.
All three former Chief Ministers of the state won from their respective constituencies. While Congress chief DD Lapang won from Nongpoh and SC Marak won from Resubelpara, UDP president Donkupar Roy won from the Shella constituency.